Skip to main content

Reply to this post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: cooperway4 Date: Jan 7, 2011 6:14am
Forum: feature_films Subject: What's all the hoopla?

What's up with these self-proclaimed copyright police?

I'm not talking about the posters that point out obvious violations like these Bleach episodes - http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=bleach%20AND%20mediatype%3Amovies or this recent movie - http://www.archive.org/details/FoodInc2008, in fact I whole-heartedly support that. I'm talking about people actively trying to remove movies believed to be in the public domain.

Take for instance M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Moerder (1931). It's been on the archives for over 5 years, but someone here is claiming it needs to be removed because it's copyright was restored on January 1, 1996. Well it's obvious that the film is in the public domain or the supposed rights holder does not care. I mean even IMDB has a link to the Internet Archive's copy on it's website - says Watch Now watch it at the Internet Archives. This movie is so accepted as being Public Domain that even if in the slim chance it did have it's copyright restored it would be prudent to wait until a supposed rights holder came forward and used the Archives Copyright policy to have it removed.

Another example is The Brother From Another Planet (1984), long and widely believed to be public domain. Let's suppose for a moment that it isn't. Downloaders wouldn't be guilty of infringement because they've been in good faith informed it's in the public domain (and who would sue someone for a less than $5 video when they know they would lose?). The Internet Archives are protected because they have a copyright policy compliant with the DMCA. And the uploader could provide dozens of references claiming this movie is in the public domain provided the uploader is findable after 2 and 1/2 years since that's how long ago they posted it. And with all those references they wouldn't be guilty as they did not knowingly and willingly infringe.

Now the community does need knowledgeable people to help would-be uploaders determine whether works are in the public domain. But once it's been posted it would be better to leave the comment on the item page if trying to protect the uploader's interest is at heart. For all anyone knows, the film was relegated to the public domain by the rights holder. There is a reason WHY it's widely believed to be in the public domain. So that's why I say to all the self-proclaimed copyright police - What's all the hoopla?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 3:58pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

What's up with these self-proclaimed copyright police?
As no one here calls themself "the copyright police", they are probably amused by the irony of that statement.

M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Moerder (1931).
There is not really much evidence that this movie is Public Domain. The chain of copyright registrations put it clearly in copyright. And look at the current releases on a site like Amazon. There's a few authorised releases from Criteron, lots of discontinued unauthorised releases and a few of those overpriced unauthorised DVD-R made-on-demand releases (which seems to be fairly unpoliced).

There is no room to question that this film's copyright was restored by URAA. There is little question that the rights owner has been protecting their restored copyright by informing commercial users of their rights as there are nearly no proper unauthorised DVDs on the market.

FYI - the inclusion of an Archive video on IMBD is not an acceptance of its copyright status. Internet Archive films are automatically attached to the IMDB article they match upon uploading/derivation. And if the free streaming or availabilty to download on the net was evidence of PD status, we would not have to endure those "you wouldn't steal an handbag" ads everytime we put a dvd into the player.

The Brother From Another Planet (1984)
I just can't find the evidence for the movie being "long and widely believed to be public domain." All I can find is one PD distributor who, in the late 90s, 'tried it on' with an unregistered but copyright film and has since been slapped with a c&d, and a few other versions released since the movie was uploaded to archive.

Let's suppose for a moment that it isn't. Downloaders wouldn't be guilty of infringement because they've been in good faith informed it's in the public domain (and who would sue someone for a less than $5 video when they know they would lose?).

Unfortunately they haven't. The film is not marked as PD. It has a clear copyright notice in the credits. Even your beloved Wikipedia does not list this one as PD on it's page. So, from where exactly would they be deriving their good faith belief?

The Internet Archives are protected because they have a copyright policy compliant with the DMCA.

True, very true. But the DMCA doesn't protect them from reputational damage.

And the uploader could provide dozens of references claiming this movie is in the public domain provided the uploader is findable after 2 and 1/2 years since that's how long ago they posted it. And with all those references they wouldn't be guilty as they did not knowingly and willingly infringe.

But they would have to explain how they were still convinced of the public domain status of the film as they ripped a restored edition and it's audio commenary off an MGM dvd with copyright warning and clear copyright and restoration notices.

What's all the hoopla?

Basically, a laissez-faire attitude plays right into the hands of the organisations that would like to see sites like Internet Archive disappear. If Archive can show that it is vigilant about removing all kinds anauthorised copyright works, there is little room for copyright organisation to call it things like "the pirate bay with non-profit status."

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-07 23:58:26

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cooperway4 Date: Jan 7, 2011 4:52pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

Read above for evidence of M being public domain in Germany.

But they would have to explain how they were still convinced of the public domain status of the film as they ripped a restored edition and it's audio commenary off an MGM dvd with copyright warning and clear copyright and restoration notices.

Granted, that would be a reason to remove that particular version. But I did show evidence yesterday that the copyright notice seems incomplete. Assuming the original film print used at the debut even had such a notice. This movie after all has been viewed as public domain for over 25 years.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cooperway4 Date: Jan 7, 2011 4:58pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

True, very true. But the DMCA doesn't protect them from reputational damage.

Then don't you think it's more important to remove those Bleach episodes and Food, Inc. linked above than trying to remove what obviously is being claimed to be public domain everywhere but in your mind?

I agree that copyrighted commentary should not be allowed, but you are also attacking what everyone views as public domain and trying to convince me that IMDB would link to the Internet Archive's copy of a movie if they for one minute believed it wasn't in the public domain. If IMDB, king off the make you watch it on hulu says it's good to go, I'm going with them.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 6:35pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

These films we are discussing are in copyright. I am able to prove, and have proved, that. You are not able to show valid documentray proof that these films are in the public domain (or currently in the public domain in the case of the GATT films).

It is important that Internet Archive is vigilant about ALL copyright violations. The ideas that it is old, it should be in the public domain, nobody cares, and everybody else is doing it won't wash if this place is to be the classy, ethical digital archive and library that it strives to be.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: kareneliot Date: Jan 7, 2011 6:46pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

"What's up with these self-proclaimed copyright police?
As no one here calls themself "the copyright police", they are probably amused by the irony of that statement."

As a passive observer, it read to me that the poster isn't saying "they" CALL themselves the "self-proclaimed copyright police", but that they ACT like they are and why are they being so self-important?

But I could have misinterpreted...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 6:56pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

It depends on what you think "self-proclaimed" means.

It seemed somewhat ironic because the poster is doing the exact same thing as "the copyright police" only from the opposite perspective. In many ways we are both arguing for the integrity of the public domain.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Moongleam Date: Jan 7, 2011 8:31pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

All of us conscientious users of the Feature Films section would like to thank you for the films that you have uploaded and for all of the copyright research you have done for us over the years. You have played a very important role in making this site the great place that it is.

One example: "The Saint Louis Bank Robbery". The government's copyright site shows the film as being under copyright, but you were able to show that it is actually public domain.

If 10 copyrighted films are allowed here, then why not 100? If 100, why not 1000? If 1000, why not 10000? How long would the Archive last after that number was reached?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: guyzilla Date: Jan 8, 2011 2:04am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

Amen. As a user who has both uploaded material and occasionally flagged other's material, I don't consider myself a "policeman" to any degree. If I flag a film here on the Archive, it's because I have some information making me believe it's copyright, however usually that info was the fact that I was going to upload that particular film myself but was advised not to by someone else, usually Video Cellar. If I flag a movie and someone disagrees with me, then it's ok with me to post an arguement stating why you think my claim is erroneous because I have no problem being shown where I'm wrong. But as far as referring to certain individuals as "self proclaimed copyright police", I think that's going a little too far. Mostly we're just policing ourselves. We love this site and we want to keep it strong. What's wrong with that?

This post was modified by guyzilla on 2011-01-08 10:04:48

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: skybandit Date: Jan 8, 2011 2:43am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

I think cooperway4 should learn the difference betweem am orphan and a public domain work. It's still theft, even if nobody cares that you stole it.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cooperway4 Date: Apr 2, 2011 9:40pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

The only theft going on is the theft of the public domain, like your repeated attempts to remove the PD movie Monster from the Ocean Floor (1954).

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: splue Date: Apr 2, 2011 10:03pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

i vote to let sleeping monsters lie.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Dr Feel Rotten Date: Jan 8, 2011 12:06pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

Well..maybe someone, maybe the people here as a whole should lobby congress at least in the US to change copyright laws to reflect the realities of the world as it is instead of how someone who MIGHT have been a long lost relative of a creator who MIGHT want to capitalize on something that MIGHT have fallen into PD.
A lot of old classics remain under copyright for far to long and end up getting handed down forever to families who get to 'sue' anyone who so much as breathes on great, great grampa's work, but I 'guess' that's supposed to be the American way, huh?
These are the same reasons we had estate laws so that no one group or family could hold onto wealth forever and ever by mere blood relations, but even those were watered down to death by wealthy groups to keep them wealthy forever and ever..
Personally I don't feel so obligated to observe their so called rights as some do. After a few billion people have seen a movie a billion times and their grand children have seen it and their great, great, great grandchildren have seen it and know nearly every word by heart then it's time to pry the copyright away for the public good and stop giving these wealthy bastards the right to permanently cripple someones finances for life.
Let's face it. if the first person to ever speak the word "it" were to have copy-written it a gazillion years ago there would undoubtedly be some greedy bastard to this day trying to sue every person whoever used the word "it" on a printed page or movie or anywhere else and the stupid laws would allow them to do it forever as long as they remember to renew the copyright to "it". by now that person would be so fabulously wealthy that money would become utterly worthless to everyone else.
of course that's taking it to the extreme, but many copyright laws are taken to the extreme for the sole purpose of keeping wealth consolidated in the hands of a precious few.
Give it time and someone will someday try to tell us his great, great, great, great ,great grandfather discovered oxygen there therefore should be paid every time one of us uses it.
There has to be a point where copyrights and "intellectual property" become property of the public for the public good instead of the wealthy few.

Enough of my soap box.. go ahead and throw your rocks at me now.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 8, 2011 3:51pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

America were kind of on their own in the world with their short copyright terms. The price for protection of American works internationally was joining international copyright agreements and adopting the minimum copyright terms these treaties had been based on for the 100 years before the USA joined (which was the life + a certain period calculation).

In my opinion, the advantage of the "life +" (post mortem) calculation is that there is no room for debate. Joe Author died in 1940 his work entered the public domain last Saturday. No one can bring up copyright notices, registrations and renewals that prove otherwise and, until someone changes the law to retrospecively re-copyright his work, I'm free to use it however I want.

The disadvantage of the old US system is that it is so messy. You have to look for a notice, then a registration, a renewal, then a notice again, find out if and when it was "published". It seem to be public domain so now you have to look for underlying rights. Were they separately registered? Before or after the main work? Is it a foreign work? Did its copyright get restored? and so on....

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-08 23:51:52

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 8, 2011 1:37pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

Personal, but mostly corporate greed, is responsible for what is a ridiculously long copyright term. Fresh out school, a director, cinematographer, or screenwriter in her/his 20s can easily live another 50 years, making their work last 50+70=120 years in copyright. Up until 1978, copyright length was only a maximum of 56 years. That's 28 years of protection after registering the film, plus another 28 years if the copyright was renewed. That's a reasonable copyright term in my opinion.

The Center for the Study of the Public Domain has more on the erosion of the public domain.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 7, 2011 6:37am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

So you're saying no one's watching so let's allow movies to be stolen? Video-Cellar's research into the copyright status of those films is correct as far as I can see. He has a great track record. They should be removed for decency's sake, and to protect IA.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: RobbieRogers Date: Jan 7, 2011 9:15am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

Re:
--So you're saying no one's watching so let's allow movies to be stolen?--

Sounds good to me.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Elric_Dewisant Date: Jan 7, 2011 8:35pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

This.

Because once IA gets enough takedown notices, Sony, StudioCanal, and all the other studios are going to get fed up and file suit. And guess what happens then. Internet Archive is a non-profit and any big money suit from a media giant is going to shut IA down permanently.

Because, quite obviously, the need to steal new, copyrighted works is far more important than preserving and allowing free and open access to any work in the public domain that few are going to release and no one is going to make any money off of.

And if anyone seriously believes any part of that argument, not only do I have a bridge to sell you, but also the Eiffel Tower and oceanfront property in Idaho. Nevermind that one also happens to be, quite obviously, a complete idiot.

This post was modified by Elric_Dewisant on 2011-01-08 04:35:51

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jan 8, 2011 8:09am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

So RR, in life if you can steal it, do so ?
Where's your stuff ? I'd like to take a peek to see if there is anything I want.
That was a foolish statement RR

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cooperway4 Date: Jan 7, 2011 4:49pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

His research is not correct. Video-Cellar claims M is under copyright in Germany until 1 January 2047. But it's in the public domain in Germany : http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/M_%E2%80%93_Eine_Stadt_sucht_einen_M%C3%B6rder

And I understand the apprehension of people to accept wikipedia, but this movie was also uploaded to google video viewable in Germany as public domain.

M - http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=7434905497229204028#
M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Moerder
109 min - Jan 8, 2007
Uploaded by Nero-Film GmbH

Four years on German accessible Google Video and this movie is considered a national treasure and the greatest German film ever made. That would be like Gone with the Wind available here on The U.S. Google Video site for four years. Without a single protest.

And I'm gonna be more apt to trust Video-Cellar's opinion over IMDB's?

The Brother from Another Planet has been public domain since 1984 because it had an incomplete copyright notice which has been verified to be the case.

The only onea trying to steal are people trying to remove these public domain films (and the downloaders of the Bleach episodes and Food, Inc.)

This post was modified by cooperway4 on 2011-01-08 00:49:43

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 5:44pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

I would understand the apprehension to believe wikipedia also because i just read through an entire document on the German website that did not mention the film being in the public domain. The closest it came to it was to say that they film was available to download under a creative commons license at Internet Archive. Link to the translated page

Under section 64 of Germany's copyright act the copyright in a film expires 70 calendar years after the death of the last surving credited author. That person is Fritz Lang who died in 1976. So the film enters the public domain there on 1 January 2047.

Just reviewing the original VHS release of "Brother.." more to come.


This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-08 01:44:23

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 6:49pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

"The Brother from Another Planet has been public domain since 1984"

I am sorry, but that is impossible. Under the 1976 act, any work released without a notice had a period of five years to remedy the ommission by either including a notice in subsequent editions or by registereing the work with the copyright office. The earliest "Brother From Another Planet" could have entered the public domain would have been the beginning of 1990. But as "Brother From Another Planet" was released by Key Video on an authorised video tape as early as 1986 which included a valid copyright notice, it never entered the public domain.

Attached is a screen cap of the copyright notice as it appeared in the original Key Video release. It is in the end credits and exactly the same as it appears in the restored version:

"COPYRIGHT © 1984 A TRAIN FILMS, INC
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED"

This notice meets the requirements of 17 USC 401:

§401. Notice of copyright: Visually perceptible copies
(a)
General provisions. Whenever a work protected under this title is published in the United States or elsewhere by authority of the copyright owner, a notice of copyright as provided by this section may be placed on publicly distributed copies from which the work can be visually perceived, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
(b)
Form of notice. If a notice appears on the copies, it shall consist of the following three elements:

(1)
the symbol © (the letter C in a circle), or the word "Copyright", or the abbreviation "Copr."; and
(2)
the year of first publication of the work; in the case of compilations or derivative works incorporating previously published material, the year date of first publication of the compilation or derivative work is sufficient. The year date may be omitted where a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work, with accompanying text matter, if any, is reproduced in or on greeting cards, postcards, stationery, jewelry, dolls, toys, or any useful articles; and
(3)
the name of the owner of copyright in the work, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner.

(c)
Position of notice. The notice shall be affixed to the copies in such manner and location as to give reasonable notice of the claim of copyright. The Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regulation, as examples, specific methods of affixation and positions of the notice on various types of works that will satisfy this requirement, but these specifications shall not be considered exhaustive.
(d)
Evidentiary weight of notice. If a notice of copyright in the form and position specified by this section appears on the published copy or copies to which a defendant in a copyright infringement suit had access, then no weight shall be given to such a defendant's interposition of a defense based on innocent infringement in mitigation of actual or statutory damages, except as provided in the last sentence of section 504(c)(2)


The notice alone proves that "Brother From Another Planet" (1984) is demonstrably copyright protected. All information to the contrary is incorrect.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-08 02:49:26

Attachment: Brother_vhs_copyright_notice.jpg

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 7:06pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

I should also mention that, because of the inclusion of the notice, exactly as it appears in the restored edition, in the earliest published edition available to view, I do not believe that this film was originally released to theatres without the inclusion of a valid notice. Infact, I would go so far as to conclude that original cinema prints contained the same notice as appears in the Key Video and MGM DVD.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-08 03:06:22

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cooperway4 Date: Jan 7, 2011 5:13pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What's all the hoopla?

No one said no one's watching but you. And download counts say otherwise. It's been a big shining beacon here and everywhere else that continues to present these films as the public domain films that they are. It's the people who are trying to remove them who are trying to have me believe that there are mysterious rights holders somewhere that have never once come forward while the whole world has announced the public domain status of these public domain films. That these supposed rights holders have been living under a rock somewhere and they know not what is happening. On movies the creator actively worked to restore (any DVD commentary part not withstanding as most other sites don't have that version) and on movies viewed as national treasures and voted #1 German film of all time, nonetheless. Well, I say they have seen and no one comes forward because they know the works are Public Domain.